Story: Māori education – mātauranga

'Tohunga under tapu'

'Tohunga under tapu'

This image shows a tohunga being fed by a young child. Some tohunga were thought to be so tapu that food would pollute their tapu. Traditionally, selected youths were trained in tribal knowledge by tribal experts, often in whare wānanga (houses of learning) or other, more specific, learning institutions.

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Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Oil painting by Gottfried Lindauer

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ross Calman, 'Māori education – mātauranga - Education in traditional Māori society', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/34868/tohunga-under-tapu (accessed 22 February 2020)

Story by Ross Calman, published 20 Jun 2012